My husband announced the other day that he is writing a book. For those of you who don’t know my husband, he is a former Marine. I know, there is no such thing as a former Marine, but no one has ever given me a more accurate terminology. In his case, even non-practicing Marine will not work. Until our HOA decided that having Future Marines here (high schoolers who had committed to service but whose entry was deferred until
graduation) was not a “good fit” he was giving twice weekly physical training to the recruits to prepare them for boot camp. So maybe Marine it is. What does that have to do with writing. Nothing. What does that have to do with mindset? Everything. This man will write a book. Not only that, he is convinced that he will make a screenplay out of the book.
I am in awe of the fact that he It’s decided to write, and vastly impressed that he has 30,000 words on paper already. He’s chugging right along and I am dying to see how it all turns out. My husband is an engineer. His lingua franca is numbers, not words. Except for technical journals and books on subjects so esoteric that the titles need interpretation he does not read. Not fiction, not non-fiction (except for the aforementioned books and journals) and not literary works. Although in his defense, he does own the complete works of Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Doyle, and the like. And he’s read them, and he knows the content and he can cite chapter and verse in many cases. So, he has read, but does not currently read…non-technical works.
Why then do I have my doubts? I’m not sure that I do. His book is, from that I can gather, science fiction. It will make good use of his technical background. He is also a huge sci-fi movie fan. Again, as in his reading, nothing current, but the classic sci-fi movies of the 1950s and 1960s. He’s a stickler for accuracy, and he picks up the inconsistencies. He has an ear for language, speaks three fluently, so he’s no stranger to the English language, its grammar, and its nuances.
There are also plenty of married couples who write, some apart, some collaborate. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman come to mind at once. Stephen and Tabitha King are another famous writing couple. Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley write in different genres as well. So, it’s been done before, and will be again. It’s fun to have him pick my brain with what I consider beginner questions. How many words are in your chapters? What font do you use? How do you format a page? I introduced him to Scrivener and Scapple and now he’s teaching me how to make better use of both.
I doubt we’ll ever collaborate, but I think there’s plenty of room under our roof for two writers in different genres. And it’s fun to teach the craft and learn it again through his eyes. I hope he remembers to thank me when he wins the Academy Award for best screenwriter. He’s that kind of guy. He does nothing by half-measures.
What about you, do you and your husband share careers or avocations? How would you feel if you did?